18 Telling Signs an Emotional Affair Has Your Marriage Twisted

BY: - 18 Apr '18 | Infidelity

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So your spouse may not be having sex with someone else, but they’re spending a whole heck of a lot of time “just” talking, emailing and texting!  You may ask “does that count as an affair”? Absolutely! An emotional affair, which is a close, intimate, emotional attachment is still considered an affair—an affair of the heart. And there are telling signs that an emotional affair has your marriage twisted.

It’s a secret relationship in which a commitment is involved, thus creating a form of infidelity.  It can all happen quite innocently. Truthfully, most times, it does. But how?

You know that little voice that has tried (or is trying) to caution you to think twice.  The little voice sounds like this…

  • “Don’t entertain that conversation”
  • “It is not a good idea to have lunch with her/him” or
  • “Perhaps I should not share that intimate detail of our marriage with him/her”.

These days, emotional affairs start out via Facebook or with an “innocent” friendship in the workplace.  We like to think in many cases we are exempt and/or we can handle it because we are strong. We might think, “I got this.” Or we might justify our behaviors with saying to ourselves “what can it hurt?”

Emotional affairs are not harmless!

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Take it from someone who has experience. I have done exactly this and it hurts like hell! Assuming you have a concience and are honest with your spouse, the pain becomes very real very fast.

I get it; these encounters appear innocent, maybe even “safe” replacements to “cheating” on your spouse. But, let’s be clear, the reality is this is still cheating. And, the truth that no one tells us upfront is that these encounters will lead you down the road of possibly destroying your marriage.

“A new crisis of infidelity is emerging in which people who never intended to be unfaithful are unwittingly crossing the line from platonic friendships into romantic relationships” – according to The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.

The statement is backed up by alarming statistics conducted through a national poll. While the findings showed that 15 percent of married women and 25 percent of married men have had sexual affairs, it was also revealed that an additional 20 percent of married couples have been impacted by emotional infidelity.

Let me drop some wisdom. Not everyone actually cheats intentionally!  Neither my husband nor I planned to cheat.  Don’t get me wrong; there are some folks who knowingly choose to start having physical affairs outside of their marriage.  However, there are a surprising number of people who are just lonely, seeking friendship, have yet to identify their unresolved issues and they don’t actually realize that they’ve invested more in this “other” person emotionally than with their spouse. That’s the beginning of an emotional affair.

They’re not bad people, but they are seeking comfort with someone other than their spouse.

Here are 18 very telling signs that your so-called friendship is entering the not-so-gray area of emotional infidelity:

  1. You put way more effort into your appearance for him/her than your spouse.
  2. You lie to your spouse about talking to and/or seeing him/her.
  3. You do thoughtful things for him/her that you do not do for your spouse.
  4. You are spending way more time with him/her than your spouse.
  5. You’re texting (or even sexting) with him/her while trying to keep it secret from your spouse.
  6. You laugh more with him/her than your spouse.
  7. You think about him/her more than your spouse
  8. You compare your spouse to him/her in unfavorable ways.
  9. You impatiently anticipate your next meeting with him/her.
  10. You feel more understood by him/her rather than your own spouse.
  11. You reassure yourself and other people, “we’re just friends.”
  12. You feel uncomfortable when your spouse says something about him/her (assuming your spouse knows them).
  13. You tell him/her things about yourself that you have not shared with your spouse.
  14. You tell “little white lies” intentionally to your spouse to talk to and/or see him/her.
  15. You are distracted when he/she is around.
  16. You show off for him/her.
  17. Your emotions are growing more powerful and intense for him/her.
  18. You feel more alive when he/she is around (or merely thinking about him/her).

Now What? Well, here’s my advice to my clients. The first step to ending any affair (even an emotional one) is to be honest with yourself and admit this is an affair!  It is not usually realistic or suggested to “simply” return back to being “just” friends.  The best course of action in most cases is to cut ties with your crush completely.

You may be split on whether you should tell your spouse that you’ve been crushing on someone else.  One thing is clear: You wouldn’t have had such a soul connection with your crush if there weren’t unresolved issues in your marriage. It is vital to address those problems and take steps to enhance the emotional connection in your actual marriage.  I highly recommend attending couples therapy, which can help you both sort out your feelings under the guidance of a trained professional.

There will always be someone who catches your eye as long as you’re searching for one. If you’ve been looking, the best thing you can do is admit it to yourself and figure out why you’re doing so in the first place. In that case, individual therapy, along with couples therapy may not be a bad idea.

BMWK, are you having an emotional affair?

About the author

Da-Nay Macklin wrote 57 articles on this blog.

Coach Da-Nay Macklin is a Certified Christian Life & Relationship Coach, founder of the Courageous Conquerors Mastermind and Author of Love After Adultery: The Breakthrough Journey of the Brokenhearted Available on Amazon She is one of the nation’s leading experts on infidelity and a thought leader on maximizing potential as she assists couples and individuals to live life by design and not default. Da-Nay has been has been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Network’s show Unfaithful: Stories of Betrayal after successfully navigating adultery in her marriage, and named one of the 15 most powerful women on the south side of Chicago. She now resides in Charlotte, NC with her loving husband and daughter.


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Single Ladies: 3 Signs Your Man is “Micro-Cheating”

BY: - 30 Apr '18 | Infidelity

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Micro-cheating is the new buzz word in modern dating, and it’s used to describe the seemingly harmless, tiny actions that could lead up to full-blown infidelity. Micro-cheating may never lead up to sex, and it isn’t exactly an emotional affair, where your partner is turning to someone else for a shoulder to lean on. In fact, the actions your man may be taking may look innocent on the outside, but if they’re making you uncomfortable or leave you questioning where you stand with him, then it counts as micro-cheating. Micro-cheating may range from your partner leaving “heart eyes” emojis on another woman’s Instagram photo to hiding the text messages from his ex so you don’t see them.

If you get upset with your man about these little moments of flirtation and dishonest, you’re not just over-reacting! Micro-cheating is such a grey area, that it’s not about the actions themselves;  it’s the intention attached the actions that create drama in your relationship.

I want to give you 3 typical ways micro-cheaters behave online and offline so that you can know how to have a conversation with your man about how you feel when he flirts with another woman.

Sign #1: He’s Hiding His Relationship With You

Maybe you’re ok with your man having female friends on social media. He’s a grown man, right? But you begin noticing that his privacy settings don’t allow you to see all his posts. And when he changed his profile picture, his comments were filled with women who clearly think he’s single – and it feels like he wants it that way!

If you discover that your man is downplaying the nature of his relationship with you to other people, he is micro-cheating! Even if there isn’t another woman in the picture, he’s sending a signal that he’s available to other women by keeping you a secret.

Sign #2: He’s Hiding His Relationship With His Exes FROM You

It’s one thing to be friends with your ex. It’s another thing to hide that friendship from the person you’re currently dating! That’s what you need to tell your man if you find out he’s been secretly keeping up with his ex via social media, text messages, phone calls or meet ups at Starbucks.

It’s time to discuss your boundaries around friends of the opposite sex and let him know how his secret behavior is breaking your trust in him.

Sign #3: He’s Openly Flirting With Another Woman Like It’s No Big Deal

Maybe it’s way he keeps glancing at the server when she walks away.  Or, it’s the lingering hug he gives his “friend” from church. It could be the way he dances with one woman all night at the company gala. All you know is, his flirting makes you feel invisible, and you don’t like it.

He isn’t hiding the fact that he’s feeling another woman and that’s a problem because it crosses a line and makes you feel disrespected.


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On one hand, flirting and having friends doesn’t mean he’s cheating on you. On the other hand, being secretive about his friends and making you feel insecure about your relationship is a violation of the trust, integrity and mutual respect you need to keep your relationship moving forward.

Micro-cheating doesn’t have to be a deal breaker, but it should be a wake up call! The next step you need to take is having a real talk conversation about what cheating means to you. Then, set agreements about how you’ll respect each others’ boundaries so that both of you feel you’re getting what you need from the relationship.

BMWK, What would you add to the list? What counts as micro-cheating to you? 

About the author

Aesha Adams Roberts wrote 178 articles on this blog.

Dr. Aesha is a matchmaker, dating coach, speaker and author of the book, Can I Help A Sister Out: How To Meet & Marry The Man of Your Dreams. After years of making painful dating mistakes, she met & married her husband in 11 short months and has made it her mission to help women and men find and keep the love of their lives.


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